Famous Dave Anderson apparently didn't know that "break a leg" is an expression not meant to be taken literally.
A wheelchair was moving the founder of the Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues brand around its Calhoun Square location last Sunday during a viewing party for the Food Network's "Best in Smoke," on which he's a contestant.
"It happened before the show even started," he said. "I was on top of the smoker and fell off and had to have my whole ankle rebuilt. Now I'm in a cast and have got six screws they put in. They [reconnected] all my tendons and everything."
Too preoccupied with the competition, he didn't seek immediate medical attention and flew injured from New York back to Minnesota, where he had surgery.
"The doctor said, How come you didn't get to the hospital right away? I said I wasn't going home because of a bum leg. I was going to stay on that show and I didn't care how bad or hurt it was. I was in New York to cook!" said Dave.
Food Network staffers probably thought he normally walked with a limp. "First of all, I never told the Food Network people that I hurt my leg so bad. They knew I fell, but they didn't know I really wrecked it. I'm healing, and I'm going to be back smokin'."
Because of a strict confidentiality agreement, Dave is erring on the side of disclosing nothing about how long, or when, he was in NYC.
Based on how his dishes kept getting ranked near the bottom in challenges Sunday, I'd guess he doesn't last the entire run. This week the show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, Dave's hosting an after-the-show, online Q&A event at Calhoun Square starting at 6:30 p.m.
Monday, huh? Hmmm.
Crump joins Oprah
Hubbard Broadcasting exec Harold Crump and two family members have coveted tickets to Oprah's United Center send-off marking her 25 years in syndication.
"Show is taping Tuesday night," said Crump, who was being tight-lipped because several weeks ago he asked me not to write about this. "I'm taking my wife, Leigh, and my daughter, Missy Porter, from Nashville," said Crump. "Sure [his daughter's excited]. First time she's ever gone to see Oprah." Mrs. Crump was with Harold in April 2010, the first time he attended an Oprah taping, invited by Oprah herself.
He doesn't want to be badgered for tickets. I don't know why he can't be as firm with ticket seekers as he was with me when I first tried to write this several weeks ago. Since then, two sources have told me they heard Crump got a call from Oprah's assistant saying O wanted to know if Harold wanted to attend the historic TV event. Somebody hasn't been mum, and that person is not ME.
Speculation on the Web is that the shows for which Crump will be on hand are scheduled to air May 23 and 24. There is a rumor that Oprah's last show, before she goes off to run her own network, may actually be taped at Harpo Studios, perhaps without an audience.
Crump was Oprah's first boss at Nashville's WTVF, where he was GM. His generosity to WTVF employees, who received a week's pay for Christmas, influenced Oprah to give her employees a week's pay for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Goes to show that generosity can be contagious.
'Family values' prevailing
Toni Braxton told "The View" that she might not pose nude for Playboy because of her sons.
She said Denim and Diezel are going through a phase of being fixated on breasts -- or, as Braxton called them, "boobies."
WE's "Braxton Family Values" reality show star knows she could keep her kids from seeing the photos, but she's afraid that other little boys will tell her sons they saw her breasts and cause her kids embarrassment.
Braxton is married to St. Paul's Keri Lewis, a former member of Mint Condition.
They split in 2009 but in April told Contactmusic.com there are no plans to finalize the breakup because she doesn't want to upset her boys. They said they co-parent, and remain the best of friends, while Lewis stays very involved with rearing his children.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.